Two hundred and seven teams – or if you prefer, four hundred and fourteen anglers, converged on Russo’s Marina at Bethel Island to participate in what has become the iconic summertime event for the west’s legion of competitive anglers, all of who were eagerly waiting – with Snag Proof top water frogs in hand, to make a run at this year’s title and a lucrative cash purse that turned out to yield over $7,000 for the winners.
Perennial favorites Sean and Brian Stafford jumped out to what seemed to be an insurmountable lead on day one, bringing in a three fish limit that topped the scales right at 16 pounds. But on day two, the weather changed, bringing with it a prevailing wind that not only cooled down the temperatures, but the bite as well, making it difficult for some teams to adjust.
The most common and constant comment from anglers regarding the bite was that the “strike-to-catch” ratio was beyond ridiculous.
“We had a 100 yard bank that we simply could not leave because we were getting so many good blow ups”, stated Navionics/Humminbird pro-staffer Travis Huckaby, who saw his first day weight of over 9 pounds become of no consequence, as on the second day of competition those same repeated “blow ups” produced nothing more than mangled frogs that would “slingshot” back to his boat as soon as a big bass spit it out.
“We died a thousand deaths out there today, watching big fish roll over our frogs without getting ONE good hook in them” Travis added, clearly frustrated with the day.
But the team of Valdez and Hitchcock, had no such problems with “hook ups” as this PRO division team on the strength of the Bobby’s perfect Buzz Frog, brought a day 2 limit to the scales weighing 16.55 pounds, to take over the lead – and the win in this 12th annual event.
For their efforts they received $7,100 dollars and two beautiful custom designed trophies that will surely give them a ton of “braggin rights” for years to come.
In the AM division the team of Kreighbauer and Chapman took top honors, and for the first time in the history of the event, the AM division brought in a bigger weight than the PRO division team!
Ish’s Phat Frogs coupled with Bobby’s Perfect Frogs were the key to success for this team, as their 26.58 pound 6-fish limit earned them a check for just shy of $3,000 and a ton of respect from their competition for such a commanding performance.
But even more was at stake in this weekend’s event besides the Snag Proof Open title, as the top 25 from the PRO division, and the top 15 from the AM division will automatically qualify for the first-ever Coors Light Delta Open Teams Series Championship – to be held on the California Delta in late June of 2014!
In this invitational tournament, only 100 qualifying teams will compete for the inaugural Coors Light Open Teams Series Championship trophy, and get this….the keys to a new Jeep Patriot, plus cash and prizes!
On behalf of Snag Proof Lures, Anglers Press, presenting sponsor Gone Fishin Marine of Dixon Ca, and the entire Snag Pro pro-staff – a sincere THANK YOU to all of you that supported and participated in this great event which contributed to making it a HUGE success.
We look forward to hosting it again for western anglers and hope to see you all next summer for another fun-filled top water frog event!